Columbo: Season 3, Episode 6

Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb. 1974)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 880 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

The director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses commits a clever murder. But another kind of genius is on the case: Lt. Columbo.



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Title: Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb 1974)

Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb 1974) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Marshall Cahill (as Jose Ferrer)
Dr. Howard Nicholson
Neil Cahill (as Robert Walker)
Steve Spelberg (as Lee H. Montgomery)
Margaret Nicholson
Lou Wagner ...
Arthur Batanides ...
Murph (as Art Batanides)
Darrell Zwerling ...
Motel Manager
Charles Macaulay ...
John Zaremba ...
William Bryant ...
Bert Holland ...
Ed Fury ...
Jefferson Kibbee ...


Dr. Marshall Cahill is the director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses, including the elderly Dr. Nicholson, who knows that Cahill's son Neil has plagiarized a dead man's theory of molecular structure. When Nicholson threatens exposure, Dr. Cahill murders him and cleverly makes the killing look like the job of a heroin junkie who needed his fix. But clever or not, another kind of genius is on the case: the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

10 February 1974 (USA)  »

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(dvd release)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Screenwriters Steven Bochco and Dean Hargrove pay tribute to Steven Spielberg, who had directed Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971) earlier in the series: the boy genius character is called Steve Spelberg. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Hold it!
Steve Spelberg: What's wrong?
Lt. Columbo: Something just computed.
See more »


References Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Possibly the most outdated Columbo movie around.
24 May 2008 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

The earliest Columbo movie entry dates back from 1968 but yet no other Columbo movie seems as old as this one. The silly outdated technical and scientific elements and the presence of Robby the Robot makes this movie feel and look outdated which does take away some of the quality of the overall movie but nevertheless doesn't prevent the movie from being not entertaining or bad to watch.

Nevertheless I don't really count this movie among one of the best out of the long running Columbo series. The story and especially its settings were not really interesting enough and the movie also really lacked a good well known actor opposite Peter Falk. It's not that José Ferrer is a bad actor but he just didn't played his role very interestingly, which caused his presence and role to be a forgettable one. There also isn't enough interaction between him and Lt.Columbo, which normally really is a requirement for a good Columbo movies.

There were more clues left out for Lt. Columbo than usual, which is also one of the reasons why the story isn't among the best out of all the Columbo movies.

Quite funny how Robby the Robot often keeps popping up in movies and series. He made his first appearance in 1956 in the science-fiction movie "Forbidden Planet" and continues appearing in movies till this present day. His role in this movie is also quite big and significant for the movie its main plot.

It remains a well made movie and a pleasant enough to watch murder-mystery but it's perhaps a tad bit more forgettable than most other average Columbo entries.


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